Live Programs

Kierra Sheard’s Bridges Tour Closes Gap between “Faith and Real Life”

By Bob Marovich The intimate Mayne Stage theater on Chicago’s North Side reverberated with blasts of EDM, raucous drums, snarling electric guitar, thumping bass, chiming keyboards, and an Apple computer churning out beats like a jukebox. The vocalists had the standing room only crowd on its feet, hands waving, dancing, and offering exuberant applause after each song. I’m not describing a rock or R&B concert but the Bridges Tour, starring contemporary gospel artists Kierra Sheard, Jojo Martin, and Jor’Dan Armstrong. Singer-songwriter, recording artist, actor, fashion designer, and media presence Sheard, whose mother is Karen Clark Sheard and grandmother the late ...

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Lecrae Wins Big at 46th Annual GMA Dove Awards

By Bob Marovich Lecrae was among the top awardees at the 46th annual GMA Dove Awards celebration, held yesterday evening at Allen Arena on the campus of Nashville’s Lipscomb University. The Billboard-topping Christian hip hop artist took home three honors: Artist of the Year, Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year (Anomaly), and Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year (“All I Need is You”). Producer-Songwriter Seth Mosley led with four Dove Awards, while Lauren Daigle and Matt Maher took home three statuettes each. Daigle was named New Artist of the Year and received Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year and Song of the Year ...

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Daughter of U.S. Soul Singer Presents Gospel Program in Western Australia

By Bob Marovich Gospel music has been an international phenomenon for more than sixty years, enjoyed in nearly every corner of the world. This includes Western Australia, where the Joyful Noise Gospel Choir will present Gospel Music @ the Rocks #2.  The program (above) will take place November 7, 2015, at the Quarry Amphitheater in City Beach, a beautiful suburb of Perth.  I can’t think of a more lovely place to be than Perth in November, when Australia will be reveling in late springtime weather. Incidentally, music runs in the DNA for event producer Jade-Lori Haggis (below, left).  Her father, Clarence ...

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Erica Campbell, Ricky Dillard & New G Win Big at 30th Stellars

By Bob Marovich Erica Campbell of Mary Mary and Ricky Dillard & New G needed push carts to carry home their hardware from the 30th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, televised in Las Vegas yesterday evening. The Stellar Award is the top honor for artists performing in the African American gospel music tradition. Campbell and her CD Help earned a combined eight Stellars, including Artist of the Year, CD of the Year, Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year, and Contemporary CD of the Year. Dillard & New G represented the choir sound with four Stellars, including Song of the Year (“Amazing”), ...

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BMI Honors Houghton, Pace Sisters, at 16th Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards

ATLANTA, January 18, 2015 – Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®), the global leader in music rights management, brought legends and contemporary stars together to celebrate the careers of gospel giants Israel Houghton, LaShun Pace and The Anointed Pace Sisters at its 16th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards yesterday in Atlanta. The event, held at the Rialto Center for the Arts, also recognized BMI’s Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year: “The Gift,” written and performed by Donald Lawrence. The song, featured on Lawrence’s album Best For Last, topped the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart and achieved wide-spread success. BMI also recognized five ...

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Gospel Stars Fix More than Music on “Fix My Choir”

“Fix My Choir” With Deitrick Haddon and Michelle Williams Premiere: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 – 10 p.m. ET/PT Oxygen www.oxygen.com By Bob Marovich At last: a reality television program suitable for those of us who avoid reality television. “Fix My Choir” is about struggling church and community choirs who receive mentoring from the program’s stars, gospel singers Deitrick Haddon and Michelle Williams (formerly of Destiny’s Child).  Each episode features Deitrick and Michelle responding to one particular choir’s SOS call. On the premiere episode, which airs this evening, Deitrick and Michelle travel to New Orleans to rescue Josh Kagler and HPC (Harmonistic ...

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James Fortune & Friends Offer One Energetic Performance After Another

“James Fortune & FIYA and Friends” Gospel Music Workshop of America Centennial Ballroom – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, GA Tuesday, July 29, 2014 By Bob Marovich Photo: Alexis Spight (center) with James Fortune (right) The Gospel Music Workshop of America.  Your mind conjures up images of delegations of robed choirs singing traditional songs with contemporary flair, gospel announcers learning best practices, quartets performing in the Quartet Quest competition, the GMWA Mass Choir, new songs to take back home, and classes on everything from keyboard basics to choral directing. But that doesn’t mean the nation’s top-selling gospel artists don’t make appearances.  They do, and ...

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